MY ROLE AS A CITIZEN OF EARTH

I come from Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world, the giant of Africa, a country of diverse cultures, ethnicities, dialects, languages and peoples; a place of abundant mineral, natural and human resources. Yet the citizens of my country still groan under the weight of poverty, violence, ethnic tribalism, and the menace of religious wars that threatens to tear us apart.
What then is my role as a citizen of Mother Earth and how am I supposed to fulfill this role as an immediate citizen of my country when the challenges before me are numerous. The political philosopher Thomas Paine declare ‘the world is my country, all mankind my brethren and to do good is my religion.’
So to do good is my first role as a citizen of earth, to engender harmonious and peaceful coexistence because for effective change to occur I must be the change. I must first take an inward look at my life and see how my actions have affected the world as a whole. Have I helped in preserving or depleting the resources of the environment? Have I taken others as my brothers and sisters or have I treated them differently because they are not of the same nationality, race, language, color as me. How have I contributed to global peace and helping to curb the menace of wars, conflicts, violence, injustice, poverty that pervades our world and threatens to tear us apart. Until we see ourselves as unified whole rather than divided halves, our problems will continue to exist. The Tamil poet rightly puts it ‘to us all towns are one, all men our kin’.
Every day on the news, I hear stories of kidnaps and the ever-increasing attack by the “boko haram” sect and I wonder when all these would end. I feel bad but for me and most other people that is where it ends, we are not the ones affected by the killings and bloodsheds. We do not know personally anyone affected by these inhumane treatments. What can I do to stop this killing of innocent people, people who have as much right to life as I do? I believe in a world where everyone is treated equally irrespective of the color of his or her skin or his or her religious belief. To stop the killing and violence, I as a citizen of my country must speak out against the killings. It is not enough just to feel bad, proactive actions must be taken. I heard that the government was planning of giving these criminals amnesty (not sure how true this is) in order for them to lay down their weapons. Why should they be granted amnesty? I do not believe in treating violence with violence but they should be made to face the music for their actions especially in the face of renewed attacks and the ‘chibok’ girls’ kidnaps.
Next is the issue of environmental pollution. How have I actually made the earth a lot cleaner and safer for future generations? We hear about the depletion of the ozone layers. We still contribute to the pollution of the air by the actions of chlorofluorocarbons gotten from aerosol cans and perfumes and exhaust fumes from our cars. We dump refuse on the road and it is a common action in Nigeria since no one will arrest you because we see the earth as a vast unlimited good i.e. the carrying capacity of air and water is large compared to our individual contribution to pollution. However, when we continue to reason this way, the combined effects of each person’s activities may be become disastrous. Moreover, we treat our natural resources as free goods that no one owns and therefore can be used without reimbursing .This attitude is wrong because natural resources are not unlimited, as we would like to think. Therefore, my role as a citizen of my country is to enlighten people about how their actions actually affect the environment and how to recognize that we are part of a larger system. We depend on the air for breathing, the sea for water and food, the land for building materials and food. Therefore, it becomes my duty and the duty of everyone to protect the welfare of the environment and the citizens of our country from the continuous violence we face if sustainable development is to be achieved.

 

Say no to insurgency and Yes to a peaceful Nigeria. God bless you all.

KEEP HOPE ALIVE

We do not hope for the things we can see. We rather hope for the things that are yet to come. With trusting hearts, we look forward to a time when things will be alright. There is a yearning in our hearts for better things, new beginnings, fresh starts, better life, fulfilling jobs, good kids, understanding partners and a better country.

They say ‘keep hope alive’ but how do you keep hope alive in a world that is riddled with despair; a world where man is man’s worst enemy; where fighting, strife, killing and violence is legal, where it is now considered the norm for people to oppress others; where bribery and corruption flow through our veins; where we profess to love our neighbors with our lips and turn to strike them in the back with our words; where deceit and lies are the food and drink we have to offer to each other; where neglect, injustice, betrayal, bitterness, sentiments of tribe, race, color and language, segregation and intolerance has eaten skin deep into our lives. How then do we keep hope alive?

What do you say to one whose heart is bleeding from the wounds inflicted by those to whom he has placed his trust in; to one who has been disappointed countless times by people he thought he could place his hope on; to one who bears the marks of injustice; to one who has seen the effect of man’s inhumanity to man; to a family that has been torn apart by betrayal and lies; to a country that has been ravished by war, violence and killings. How then do you tell them to ‘keep hope alive’? How do you say to them ‘look at the bright side of life’, ‘where there is life, there is hope’, ‘there will be a light at the end of the tunnel’ when all they see around them is darkness.

It isn’t all about chanting the mantra of ‘keeping hope alive’ or of preaching the same gospel. It isn’t still about singing the same tuneless and meaningless song of old about change. Change they say is constant, change is dynamic but what kind of change do we seek, a change that is just about mere lip service, a change of actions or a change of hearts. Do we even feel remorse for the people whose lives are often disrupted by the outcome of our actions or have our hearts become so steeped in wrongdoings that we turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the sufferings of the people of our world and coo to them ‘keep hope alive’. Does our government still carry out political gimmicks in the name of projects they say are aimed at eradicating poverty or is it touching the lives of the masses when we know it is their own pockets that they enrich. Do I as a person contribute my own quota to ‘keeping hope alive’ by reaching out to the poor, needy and defenseless of our society or do I hide under the umbrella of ‘I can’t do it myself’ or ‘it is the work of the government or philanthropists’ or am I interested in eating my own share of the ‘national cake’

Do I as a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, traditional worshipper, atheist render selfless service to others or do I wait until the religious authorities who often than not keep quiet to the injustices that occur in our society. Do I turn my face the other way when someone is in need and I know I can help?

To keep hope alive, hope must first generate from our individual hearts, we must first be ready to lay down our weapons of our warfare, we must be able to look at the other person and see a human being, someone created in the image and likeness of God not an object to be trampled upon, we must be able to give without counting the cost, we must be the change we hope to see, we must be effective carriers of the message of love and unity, the change must start from our own little corner of the world, dialogue must find its way into our discussions, tolerance must take centre stage, we as a people must be ready to instill the necessary values that will be passed to generations yet unborn. We must say No to the chains of discord that threatens to tear us apart and say Yes to love that binds us together and when we put hands on the plough we must not turn back. The time for action is now!!!

Keep hope alive!!! Spread the message across!!! Build bridges of friendships!!!

I Know My country

I come from a country that is blessed with everything. We are the giant of Africa; the heartbeat of the Savannah, the country flowing with milk and honey. Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world. The land of diverse cultures, dialects, languages and peoples; a place of abundant mineral, natural and human resources is where I lay claim to. Nigeria a place where God’s work is better experienced than described.

I know my country!!! I love my country. I am proudly Nigerian. I know that things are not the way i would love them to be in my country but I would not exchange my origins for any other.

God bless Nigeria!!!